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#1
I am currently involved in a 3 piece rock group, obviously playing the bass. I've been playing with them for about 2 months now, and after compelting about 4 1/2 songs, my guitarist remarked to me that "your bass playing is a little too active and if possible cut your activity by about a third". Huh? I kind of understand what he means, but at the same time have no real idea how to approach it. Here's my problem.

My guitarist is the only guitarist. He often plays very rhytmic guitar lines that follow the drums very closely. I've been taught that bass should sync with drums in rhythm, and guitar in melody and harmony. Short of sub dividing my notes for his, IE I play quarter notes when he plays a sizteenth note chord progression, I can't really figure out how to lower my activity on the bass. I tried it for a few songs and it just doesn't seem to sync very well. I end up sounding like I'm playing something of a far too different rhythm from what he plays. if he played alot more lead type stuff I could really ride the drums and groove, but I don't really know what to do with it other than throw my parts in strange syncopation and beat patterns.

Recordings soon to come for possible proof/advice....
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#2
Get a less whiny guitarist... or be more active just to piss him off. Unless you want the bass part to be horrendously boring (which sucks) then keep doing what your doing and tell him to get over it.
#3
you're one of THOSE bassists...

it doesn't matter who does what if the song sounds good. you and your bandmates should use your ears, not your egos.
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#4
dude keep playin!!! screw him...
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#5
There's a stereotype that all basses should play is the root note, this isn't true. Just look at jazz, it's how you play it not what you play. Tell your guitarist to turn down or something. Truth be it, you're more important to the stability of the band than him. Honestly I love complicated bass licks and really busy bass playing as long as it fits the music. It makes it sound so full and good. Just if the playing requires it though, just do what feels good to your ear. And if your guitarist is still up your ass then tell him he's ignorant.
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#6
It sounds like you are playing bass correctly.
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#7
He's probably pissy because you're playing leads and he knows he cant do them
#8
Quote by fastlanestoner
you're one of THOSE bassists...

it doesn't matter who does what if the song sounds good. you and your bandmates should use your ears, not your egos.

What he said, you shouldn't sacrifice the sound of songs just so your guitarist feels good. If you can play it and it sounds good, why should you hold back?
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#10
keep going, man... not to piss him off, but to prove a point. If he locks with the drummer, then tell him to be more active. If he's gonna rag on you for not doing your part, then get on him for not doing his part. I have 2 guitarist to deal with, imagine what parts I get.
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#11
f!ck him, he is just jealous.

tell him to grow a pair.
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#12
maybe turn down just a tad, drop your mids a little.
if I'm not dominating the mix, I get away with much more.
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#13
so u get your hand, raise it to about...hm, oh say face height? and slap his.....nvm just slap him
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#14
Quote by telecastrmastr
so u get your hand, raise it to about...hm, oh say face height? and slap his.....nvm just slap him

if you slap the guitarist around too much, he starts crying.
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#15
Now guys, I didn't want to be hostile towards him. He's not saying I should play root notes or anything overly simple, he just thinks I'm being too active as in playing too many notes per bar. Like he wants me to subdivide my riffs into more whole-ish notes. He's not a super ego-centric guitarist per say, it's just that the songs were doing right now are songs he wrote and he has a certain way he wants them to be executed. Maybe I'm being a pushover, but I've had guitarists treat me far worse before.

I have a few rough recordings of our songs here just for some perspective on the way I play.

http://www.myspace.com/onsempiricoi

The songs Threshold and Blue (Live) are my contributions, and 3 and 4 are just jam sessions. Be warned these are rough recordings, and the levels are rough and the volume on Threshold and Blue are too low, so you may have to crank it a bit.
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Last edited by Ingsoc at Dec 18, 2008,
#16
Some of the rhythms/fills you used didn't quite gel with parts of the songs, which I think might be what he's trying to say, but for the most part(and I really mean most of it) you're spot-on and by no means too busy. You've done your job well. Actually, for quite a bit of it, you're basically doing your job AND his, by being the only real moving melody.

The problem I see is, either you need a lead guitarist, or your current guitarist needs to learn to play something that has a melody. It's hard to make any sort of decent bass line sound right over a song full of straight 8ths....

edit: and tell him to turn down his distortion for the heavy parts -_-
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Last edited by Mutant Corn at Dec 18, 2008,
#17
I guess you can sacrifice a little for the songs he wrote, whenever I write a song I tend to picture most parts of it and if any of it changes it doesn't feel right so I either get my way or scrap the song, the latter usually happens cause I find songs written jointly end up being much better.

It sounds like if you made your lines less active there would be something missing since his playing lacks a sense of melody and you have to make up for it. I think you have to explain to him that if he wants you to tone your playing down he's going to have become more active or the song will lose all it's feeling, but from what I've heard you're playing is fine and would probably still work fine even if he stepped his playing up.
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#18
What corn said.

Although, I'd like to share something my teacher told me. He said to keep fills at a minimal level. If you do them too much, they:

A. Lose the cool factor
B. Don't allow room for the drums to breathe
C. Get damn annoying <--After this one, he smacked me in the back of the head
#19
Quote by Mutant Corn
Some of the rhythms/fills you used didn't quite gel with parts of the songs, which I think might be what he's trying to say, but for the most part(and I really mean most of it) you're spot-on and by no means too busy. You've done your job well. Actually, for quite a bit of it, you're basically doing your job AND his, by being the only real moving melody.

The problem I see is, either you need a lead guitarist, or your current guitarist needs to learn to play something that has a melody. It's hard to make any sort of decent bass line sound right over a song full of straight 8ths....

edit: and tell him to turn down his distortion for the heavy parts -_-


Haha yes his distortion is way too wet. It's almost void of pitch really; it's like static. I feel like whenever he turns it on it drowns out his playing and mine with this white noise effect. Those parts might not gel with each other because those recordings were done the day I learned the song so my part wasn't hammered out completely yet.
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#20
A wise man once said that you can play busy bass lines in any song, even ballads, for as long as you don't step on anybody's toes.
If your guitarist playing lack melody, then keep at it. Someone has to do what he isn't. Also, basslines are way cooler than guitar riffs
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#21
Cheaply record, get some second opinions on it. Chances are most people will tell you that it's o.k and to keep on truckin'. Or if they say the reverse side try just playing some boring-*ss half notes then let him b*tch about you not doing enough. Bass slap him and move on. You're probably doing everything right, he just wants something to complain about. I've been in a band like that, and quit it immediately.
#22
I have to say, this really isn't that complex of bass playing [no offense intended]. You're very good about restraint. Your guitarist just sounds like somebody who has never played bass and is only used to hearing bass as a bottom end rather than as an instrument.

I'm in a band with a guy like that. Fortunately, he plays bass and I play guitar, so I never have to war with him over being too busy (though he plays my EB-3 like a Fender; oh, guitarists-turned-bassists, will you ever learn?).
#23
Your playing is fine. It's not that busy.

No offense, but if you were laying more "conservative" parts those two songs would have been a borefest and kudos on your sweet lines, get a singer, a lead guitar or make him play something with more melody.

You are filling the void that is left by other musicians and that is exactly what a competent bassist should be doing. it's not your fault the void is the way it is.
#24
Quote by Ingsoc
Those parts might not gel with each other because those recordings were done the day I learned the song so my part wasn't hammered out completely yet.


I retract my previous comment. You're doing great, man....make your guitarist learn a pentatonic scale or something.
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#25
Quote by the humanity
if you slap the guitarist around too much, he starts crying.


Yes but guitarists are a dime a dozen these days......bassists on the other hand are a slightly rarer breed....so i say slap away my friend maybe even hit him with your backup bass....Try it you'll love the tone!
#26
just listened.

good. kill him.
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#27
what is your guitarist complaining about? no offense but ive heard more complicated bass lines from a band with 3 guitars... your doing good. and the faster songs need 8th and 16th notes to give it some drive. ask your guitarist what the hell he ment. cause even the most ignorant guitarist i know would say that you arnt doing anything wrong.
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#28
Thanks for the input guys. Most of my lines felt good to me, and natural to boot. When he said that I was kinda saying to myself "Okay so play the same lines but less-good in a better way."

I'll umm....keep doing what I'm doing unless he goes postal.
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#29
Quote by Ingsoc
Thanks for the input guys. Most of my lines felt good to me, and natural to boot. When he said that I was kinda saying to myself "Okay so play the same lines but less-good in a better way."

I'll umm....keep doing what I'm doing unless he goes postal.

show him this thread.
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I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

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HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#30
Quote by the humanity
if you slap the guitarist around too much, he starts crying.


He also starts crying if he falls off his amp and breaks his wrist. (yes this did happen to me bands guitarist)
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#31
he might be trying to tell you that you suck at bass....nah, it's just his ego. just pick up your bass by the neck and whack him over the head with the body.
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#33
You're obviously in a band with a dick. When my singer/guitarist says I absolutely HAVE to play something, it's almost always a harmony or something else completely different to what he's playing. The rest of the time he lets me do what I want.

Get yourself a Jaemi.
#34
What's a Jaemi?
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#35
Quote by freshtunes
It sounds like you are playing bass correctly.

yessir, agreed
#37
So he's playing sixteenths, and you are playing eights? Play Sixteenths just to piss him off.

Seriously, who cares if your "active". Active bass playing is the best, if you aren't active, it all just gets boring.
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#38
Bass is too busy in a three piece? Good luck with that.
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#39
Tell him his tone sucks. From Cody Grey.
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#40
Quote by Cody_Grey102
Tell him his tone sucks. From Cody Grey.

+1

ewwww.

do this
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I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

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HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


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http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
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